Favored Core Explained: Intel CPUs with Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0

Dec 25, 2019
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Not all CPU cores are created equally. Intel's fabrication process lends to subtle differences between each core's voltage, power, and thermal capacity, which does make changes to the performance of each core. Each current-generation Intel CPU is designed to find the fastest and most power-efficient core and label it as the favored core.

Intel's Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0 Identifies the fastest cores and labels them as Favored Cores!

With the said feature, Intel CPUs to improve the performance of single-threaded applications by moving these single-threaded workloads to the faster, favored / best core. This technology works by using a driver and information store on the CPU to select workloads that fit the needed specifications to be able to be moved to favored cores. Intel themselves state that you can the new Boost 3.0 algorithm can improve performance by as much as 15% for single-threaded applications.

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Intel Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0 is a combination of software and hardware that delivers more than 15% better single-threaded performance. Now available on select Intel Core X-series processor family for Intel X299 platforms. via Intel

Microsoft's Windows OS natively supports this feature and is enabled by default so there is no need to activate in the BIOS. You'll need Windows 10 x65 - RS5 distribution or later to be able to take full advantage of the Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0 feature.

Intel's Favored Core feature with Turbo Boost Max technology 3.0 can help increase performance by up to 15% in single-threaded workloads. (Image Credits: Tomshardware)

This newer technology doesn't replace Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0, which indicated the highest possible frequency achievable across all the cores rather than just a single core or two cores. Intel Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0 enhances the Boost Technology 2.0 by having one or two favored cores, which increases the frequency of these cores even more.

Some factors impact the Turbo Max Technology 3.0:

  • Type of Workload
    • The workload must be limited to single-thread or limited-thread.
  • Number of Active Cores
  • Processor Temperature
    • If the CPU is close to overheating, it won't be able to push the workload to the favored cores and feed those cores more power to have them speed up to the max speed the core supports.
  • Power Consumption
  • Drive support

Certain Intel Core X-series CPUs support Intel's Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0 on Intel x299 chipset, these CPUs can use this technology efficiently:

  •  Intel Core i7-69xx/68xx series
  •  Intel Core i9-7900X
  •  Intel Core i9-7920X
  •  Intel Core i9-7940X
  •  Intel Core i9-7960X
  • Intel Core i9-7980XE
  •  Intel Core i7-7820X
  • Intel Core i7-9800X
  • Intel Core i9-9820X
  • Intel Core i9-99x0XE
  • Intel Core i9-99x0X
  • Intel Xeon E5-1600 v4 series
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